As parents, it’s in our DNA to worry about our kids. In addition, the messaging about success and failure is all around us and reinforces our worst fears. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki discuss some of the reasons we worry, the effect parental fears can have on our students and how we can address these fears so that our students will own their experiences and believe they are capable.
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Vicki and Lynn spent this episode thinking about failure – not student failure but parents’ fear that their student will fail. This parental fear can have a negative effect on our students. This is another in our occasional series of issues or problems that we see as we work with students every day.
As we were talking about parent feelings, we referenced an earlier episode we did on parent anxiety. This might also be a good episode to check out. We also referenced some of the differences between high school and college and the differences between IDEA and ADA for students with learning differences.
#023 – Parental Anxiety: It’s time to look at ourselves (instead of our college students!)
#009 – The Importance of Anticipating the Key Differences Between High School and College
#068 – Is Your Student Ready for College?
#070 – Increasing Your Student’s Readiness for College
#033 – Looking at Failure Differently: A Layered Approach to Building Motivation
We talked about a couple of books in this episode that would be great resources for parents who want to follow up on this topic:
The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only by Harlan Cohen
Children Who Fail at School But Succeed at Life: Lessons from Lives Well-Lived by Mark Katz
And, of course, there is one of our favorite and often-recommended books – The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey.
We had some discussion about the word “success” and what that means. Look for more on that topic in a future episode!
We also shared some suggestions for how parents can help students be ready so parents will be more confident. There are ways to make everyone feel better.
- Step back.
- Focus on the end goal.
- See strengths as well as weaknesses
- Model behavior that shows strengths and challenges
- Name/Define what you are really fearing
- Try not to engage in catastrophic thinking (imagining the worst)
- Normalize mistakes – and lighten up a bit
- Be careful of social media that feeds the fear
Lynn reminded us all that we need to take care of ourselves as well. Watch for another episode about that coming up soon!
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